New parents in Nigeria have been hit by high prices for crucial baby items such as wipes and diapers.
Prices of baby food, wipes and diapers have surged by almost 100 percent year to date owing to the impact of the Russia-Ukraine; obstructing the global supply chain.
The scarcity of FX in the country has also worsened the situation for new parents, as Nigeria still imports 90 percent of wipes and diapers found in the market.
BusinessDay surveyed some markets in Lagos and found that Little Angle baby wipe which was sold for N2,900 in January now sells for N4,000, while Huggies baby wipe sold for N3,700 now sells for N4,500. Also, Dr. Brown’s baby wipe which sold for N1,000, now sells for N2,100 year-to-date.
For diapers- Huggies (78 pieces) sells for N5,700 as against N4,500 sold in January, while Skies pamper (49 pieces) sold N2,500 in January, now sells for N3,100, while the 7 pieces sold N500, now sells for N700.
Labrace diaper (50 pieces) now sell for N3,200 as against N2,500 sold in January, while the 1,000 pieces now sell for N6,000 as against N5,000 over the same period.
“We just had our child this year and we are so excited about becoming a first-time parent. But it hasn’t been easy taking care of our child. Prices of diapers, wipes, and baby food keep surging daily,” Mary Okechukwu, a 30-year-old accountant said.
“Our income is dwindling owing to the accelerating inflation. I buy the cheaper brands of diapers and wipers for our baby,” she noted.
Inflation in Nigeria is at a 17-year high, hitting 20.5 in August while food inflation is at a 14-month high owing to rising energy and food costs.
Prices of all products have been making rapid climbs, forcing first-time parents in low-income households to switch to cloth nappies that are cheaper as they can be washed and reused.
“I have switched from a diaper to cloth nappies. We can no longer afford to spend N5,000 in a week on just diapers alone,” Aderonke Adebayo, a trader who is a first-time parent said.
I can easily wash the cloth nappies and re-use them, she said, noting that it has helped the family cut down its spending costs and economies amid accelerating inflation.
Despite cloth nappies being marketed as cheaper and affordable, health experts have warned about the dangers of cloth nappies.
Mary and Aderonke’s situation is similar to what thousands of first-time parents are going through to cope with Nigeria’s cost of living crisis.